Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Darwin Day Petition

The grad students at Portland State University have created a petition to reclassify non-science books currently classified in the science category.

To quote from the first paragraph of their petition:

"As scientists, we feel strongly that categorizing Intelligent Design ("ID") as science is both inappropriate and misleading. Local bookstores and libraries unintentionally exacerbate this misleading categorization when they shelve ID books and legitimate science texts in the same section . Our goal is to convince the U.S. Library of Congress to re-classify ID books into sections other than the science section."

The petition stems from a visit to the famous Powell's Book Store in Portland. I love Powell's, but they should know better than to put ID books on the Science shelves. Ultimately the goal is not have ID books removed from stores and libraries, but rather to have them placed in more appropriate categories, such as Pseudoscience or Fantasy.

The above petition is intended for scientists. Informed citizens can also sign a petition here.


  1. What about nonreligious forms of crackpottery? I vaguely remember UFO conspiracy theories being shelved with science in the library I used as a kid.

    Are you going to answer my email about your perfusion chambers?

  2. Yes, anything on ghosts, spirits, UFOs etc. should be excluded from science sections unless it can be demonstrated that questions are approached using scientific methodology.

    Sorry I missed your comment. I've been transitioning to a faculty position and its been a wee bit busy!
    I will look at it now.

  3. I emailed jdennehey@gmail.com -- wrong address?

    Your perfusion chamber and poly-lysine scheme looks like it could be useful for some experiments we're doing with rhizobia. Are the chambers available commercially? Can you point me to an explanation of the protocol? We would need to keep the inside of the chamber sterile while we watch individual cells over the course of a few days. Do you think that's feasible? Also, are they so well glued down that they can't divide? We want cells to be able to divide, but not move far enough that we can't tell which cell divided.